Navigation Links
WHO guidelines on Buruli ulcer need adjustment

Buruli ulcers, one of the 'neglected tropical diseases' left aside by big pharma and governments alike, are reasonably well treatable, also in poor regions. But then more attention has to be paid to early diagnosis and correct treatment. This means the rules of the World Health Organization urgently need to be changed. So say scientists of the Antwerp Institute of Tropical Medicine (ITM), based on ten years of research in Congo.

The disease is caused by Mycobacterium ulcerans, a nephew of the infamous tuberculosis bacterium. It occurs in tropical and subtropical countries, mainly in Africa. It causes hideously ulcerating 'holes' in the skin, that can dig to the bone and can outgrow to diameters of more than 10 centimetres. Much about the disease is unknown, for instance how exactly people get infected. It is assumed that water plays a role, but only in 2008 scientists at ITM succeeded in cultivating the bacterium from a water insect.

For a long time the only treatment consisted of caring for the wounds, and possibly a skin transplantation. Nowadays the WHO proposes a treatment analogous to tuberculosis, with two antibiotics, rifampicin and streptomycin. This works for light cases, but for lesions above 10 cm the effect was not documented. ITM scientist Anatole Kibadi Kapay collected cases in DR Congo from the previous five years, when surgery combined with antibiotics was used, and from the five year before that, when only surgery was used. In the process he discovered a new focus close to the Angolan border; he assumes it to be correlated to the working conditions in the illegal diamond mines there.

Kibadi Kapay noticed that the WHO guidelines for clinical diagnosis lead to a correct diagnosis in only 2 cases out of 3. As opposed to a Ziehl-Neelsen smear, a microscopic technique that is within reach of poor countries and that, through a better diagnosis, prevents the needless use of antibiotics.

But when large wounds have to be treated, from a microscopically confirmed Buruli case, antibiotics indeed are of good use. With surgery only, 15% of patients relapse; with parallel use of antibiotics, less than 2% relapse. But antibiotics only, without surgery, make large wounds worse.

Kibadi Kapay who today received a doctorate from Antwerp University for his work and his ITM colleagues advocate faster surgery of large ulcerating lesions, without four weeks of waiting with antibiotics only. The more because patients themselves already wait a long time before consulting a doctor to them the ulcers are inflicted by witchcraft or fate.

The research by Kibadi Kapay demonstrates the need of a better education of the population, but more important, it shows that WHO guidelines for diagnosis and treatment of Buruli ulcers urgently need to be adapted.


Contact: Anatole Kibadi Kapay
Institute for Tropical Medicine Antwerp

Related biology news :

1. UNC study questions FDA genetic-screening guidelines for cancer drug
2. 2 carotid artery stenting studies show results comparable to AHA guidelines
3. Simple screening questionnaire for kidney disease outperforms current clinical practice guidelines
4. NHLBI issues first US von Willebrand Disease clinical practice guidelines
5. New guidelines for treating rheumatoid arthritis
6. Study finds ATV guidelines inadequate
7. Guidelines urge physical activity during pregnancy
8. The International Society for Stem Cell Research releases new guidelines
9. Publication sets guidelines across cancer therapies: Ensuring the best in patient management
10. Coral Disease Handbook: Guidelines for Assessment, Monitoring and Management
11. First comprehensive guidelines for managing medullary thyroid carcinoma published in Thyroid journal
Post Your Comments:
(Date:10/26/2015)... ALTO, Calif. and LAS VEGAS ... Nok Nok Labs , an innovator in modern ... Alliance , today announced the launch of its latest ... first unified platform enabling organizations to use standards-based authentication ... The Nok Nok S3 Authentication Suite is ideal for ...
(Date:10/23/2015)... Research and Markets ( ) has announced the ... 2015-2019" report to their offering. ... recognition biometrics market to grow at a CAGR of ... --> The report, Global Voice Recognition Biometrics ... market analysis with inputs from industry experts. The report ...
(Date:10/22/2015)... Oct. 22, 2015  Aware, Inc. (NASDAQ: AWRE ), a ... for its third quarter ended September 30, 2015.  ... of 2015 was $4.0 million, a decrease of 33% compared to ... the third quarter of 2015 was $2.2 million, or $0.10 per ... share, in the same period a year ago.  ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... , Nov. 24, 2015 /PRNewswire/ - Aeterna Zentaris Inc. ... IIROC on behalf of the Toronto Stock Exchange, confirms ... there are no corporate developments that would cause the ... --> --> About Aeterna Zentaris ... . --> Aeterna Zentaris is a specialty ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... The Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA), ... MultiGP, also known as Multirotor Grand Prix, to represent the First–Person View (FPV) racing ... AMA members have embraced this type of racing and several new model aviation pilots ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... 24, 2015 /PRNewswire/ - Aeterna Zentaris Inc. (NASDAQ: ... the remaining 11,000 post-share consolidation (or 1,100,000 pre-share ... "Series B Warrants") subject to the previously disclosed ... 23, 2015, which will result in the issuance ... to the issuance of such shares, there will ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... Creation Technologies would ... named to Deloitte's 2015 Technology Fast 500 list of the fastest growing companies ... FDA-cleared, Class II medical device that speeds up orthodontic tooth movement by as ...
Breaking Biology Technology: